Crown Estate seeks to clarify freehold sales proposals


The Crown Estate has further explained proposals to sell freeholds on four of its London housing estates.


In its second consultation update sent recently to all residents of Cumberland Market, Millbank, Victoria Park and Lee Green, the Crown Estate states that “no one will lose their home as a direct result of this proposal”.


Any new owner would manage the properties subject to the tenants’ existing rights as set out in their tenancy agreements and, for those who were given one, the tenancy handbook.


A statement from the company added that a new landlord, or indeed any subsequent landlord, would not be able to change this, and said these protections are encapsulated in the Law of Property Act 1925 and The Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995.


James Cooksey, head of Urban Asset Management, said:  “Over the past six weeks we have had over 600 letters, phone-calls and meetings with people through the drop-ins.


“It is clear that many residents do feel anxious about aspects of this proposal. But more often than not, these fears are based on a misunderstanding of how this proposal may affect them. Throughout discussions with tenants we have been trying to reassure them about the future of their tenancy.


“Nobody will be asked to leave their home as a result of this proposal. Should the proposal go ahead and the freeholds of the properties are sold to a new owner, the landlord will change but every resident’s tenancy will remain in place. The new owners would not be able to change this, as it is protected by law.”


The Crown Estate is in the middle of a consultation with residents about the proposal. Representatives from the Crown have also met chairs of the residents’ committees, local MPs and councillors to discuss the proposals and get their feedback.


Once the consultation has closed, The Crown Estate will produce a ‘findings’ document, which will be a summary of the feedback received during the consultation. This will be circulated to residents after the consultation period ends on 23 March 2010. The Crown Estate will consider these findings along with other factors when making a decision. 

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